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More props for Gamecocks' Jeffery

South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery is the top SEC player listed among Gil Brandt's top 100 college football players to watch next season who are eligible for the 2012 draft.

Brandt, now an analyst for NFL.com, was the vice president for player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys for three decades in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. He has Jeffery No. 6 on his list, which was headed by Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

Brandt also has Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick high on his list at No. 9. That's exactly where Kirkpatrick was on ESPN analyst Mel Kiper's first Big Board for the 2012 draft, which tells you the NFL scouts love Kirkpatrick's 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame and his ability to turn and run with some of the fastest receivers out there.

In other words, there are a lot of people who think Kirkpatrick is poised for a breakout season in 2011. He had his moments a year ago, but he also had some costly mental errors. Physically, he's exactly what you're looking for, and my expectation is that Alabama's secondary will be one of the most improved units in the SEC next season. Don't be surprised if senior cornerback DeQuan Menzie is just as productive, if not more so, than Kirkpatrick. Mark Barron is one of the top safeties in the SEC, and fellow safety Robert Lester led the league with eight interceptions last season. Sophomore cornerback Dee Milliner should also be much improved.

Alabama running back Trent Richardson was No. 11 on Brandt's list, and a third Alabama player, linebacker Courtney Upshaw, was No. 18 -- giving the SEC four players in the top 20.

Upshaw is another guy who has All-SEC and possibly All-America status written all over him for the 2011 season.

Here's a look at where the other SEC players stacked up in Brandt's breakdown of the top 100 players. Note that seven of the top 12 SEC players listed by Brandt are from Alabama, which sheds a little light on why so many people are picking the Crimson Tide next season to win the league:

  • No. 28 -- South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore

  • No. 33 -- Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower

  • No. 39 -- Alabama safety Mark Barron

  • No. 53 -- Arkansas receiver Greg Childs

  • No. 54 -- South Carolina defensive end Devin Taylor

  • No. 61 -- Alabama safety Robert Lester

  • No. 62 -- Kentucky linebacker Danny Trevathan

  • No. 65 -- Alabama offensive guard/tackle Barrett Jones

  • No. 68 -- Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward

  • No. 69 -- Arkansas linebacker Jerry Franklin

  • No. 72 -- Florida defensive tackle Jaye Howard

  • No. 74 -- Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin

  • No. 76 -- Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden

  • No. 77 -- Georgia offensive tackle Cordy Glenn

  • No. 81 -- LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne

  • No. 82 -- Arkansas running back Knile Davis

  • No. 95 -- Tennessee defensive tackle Malik Jackson

  • No. 96 -- Kentucky offensive guard Larry Warford

  • No. 99 -- Georgia punter Drew Butler

  • No. 100 -- Florida running back Jeff Demps